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View Full Version : Top pick offered to attend meetings but not work out


oaklandhater
05-20-2005, 06:52 PM
http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20050519-9999-1s19chargers.html

By Kevin Acee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 19, 2005

The agent for linebacker Shawne Merriman told the Chargers this week the first-round draft pick could attend the team's offseason program, where he would participate in meetings but not in on-field practice sessions.

But the attempt at a compromise was rebuffed, so the wholly unsatisfying long-distance relationship will continue, now almost certainly until at least July.


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"There is no such thing as a half-Charger here," General Manager A.J. Smith said, explaining why the team declined to have Merriman present in such a capacity. "Either you're a Charger or you're not."

Contacted last night, Kevin Poston clarified why he made the proposal.

"We thought it would be a good-faith gesture," the agent said. "I want him to be there, and he wants to be there. We want him to meet with coaches, talk with coaches, walk through things just not do any physical activity."

Merriman skipped the team's rookie orientation camp earlier this month, and Poston has said the player will sit out all of the team's offseason workouts unless language in the team's injury protection agreement is changed. Poston asserts that the agreement does not adequately assure the Chargers will fairly compensate Merriman should he be injured before signing a contract.

"We'd like him to be on the field, but not if it doesn't make sense," Poston said. "And right now the language in the injury protection agreement does not protect Shawne."

An article in this week's SportsBusiness Journal quotes NFL Players Association officials indicating Merriman and Poston are not being unreasonable.

"The player is fully within his rights not to attend a minicamp," NFLPA General Counsel Richard Berthelsen is quoted as saying. "And in fact he is doing the responsible thing by showing a concern about what he would be paid if he got hurt in the minicamp."

Mark Levin, the NFLPA's director of salary cap and agent administration, told the publication the language of the Chargers' agreement is unique.

"I can't say if it is good language or bad language," Levin said. "But it is different than that of 21 other teams I have looked at."

The Chargers maintain their protection agreement has been standard through the years and was good enough for the team's other draftees.

As for the olive branch from Poston, Smith said: "I understand their point of view. He'd like to mentally stay up with what we're doing. We don't want him to fall behind either."

But a line appears to have been drawn, and the Chargers are not going to put a toe on the other side. Smith indicated the team's next contact with Poston will be after the offseason workouts are complete and the sides begin negotiating a contract.

"Our position is either you're here with us or you're not," Smith said. "Kevin understood. So we'll just get back to business, and after July 4 (we) will call them."

The Chargers this week began voluntary workouts at which 73 of 83 players on the roster were present Monday. The Chargers work out four times this week and next, three times the week of June 6 and twice the week of June 13. The team also has a minicamp June 10-12. All but the minicamp sessions are closed to the public.

whoman69
05-20-2005, 09:23 PM
Does anyone truly believe that this is a well run team? You are not going to get your top pick into mini camp because unlike every other team in the NFL, you give minimal injury protection to the players. Brilliant.

BigRedChief
05-21-2005, 07:40 AM
Does anyone truly believe that this is a well run team? You are not going to get your top pick into mini camp because unlike every other team in the NFL, you give minimal injury protection to the players. Brilliant.

And we have such a good history of getting our first rounders on the training camp field on time. :shake:

keg in kc
05-21-2005, 08:16 AM
And we have such a good history of getting our first rounders on the training camp field on time.We're not in the same league as the dolts when it comes to holdouts. Tomlinson held out until the week before the final preseason game in '01. Jammer held out until the second week of the regular season in '02. And both guys ended up signing for what they originally asked. Rivers held out last year until late August.

Skip Towne
05-21-2005, 08:49 AM
What do the high draft choices find to argue about? Aren't their deals supposed to be "slotted"? What's the deal?

Valiant
05-21-2005, 01:07 PM
So the guy wants to come in learnthe playbook and meet his teammates and not just play until he gets a injury agreement or a contract.. And the Chargers will not do it???

This is a first I actually agree with the player/agent...